Mixed martial arts is very safe
Singaporean mixed martial arts (MMA) exponent Sherilyn Lim is not taking any chances for her upcoming fight, as she trains six hours a day for six days a week, honing her techniques and working on cardio.
Come Oct 18, the 22-year-old from local MMA outfit Fight G - of which she is the operations manager - will make her professional debut at One Fighting Championship's Total Domination event at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
My Paper spoke to the fighter, Singapore's second female representative on the famed One FC arena, about the safety of MMA and why approaching the sport with an open mind is key for first-timers.
What inspired you to take up MMA?
It actually began with muay thai, which I took up because I wanted to lose weight and get fitter. Getting into MMA from there was a natural transition.
What is a common misconception that people have about the sport?
The general perception is that MMA is a violent sport. In fact, it is very safe.
There are professional referees, rules and regulations that make the sport safe. Athletes now are also much better trained than before, and (the training) allows them to better protect themselves.
Some people think that MMA is only for guys. Did you face any challenges doing the sport as a woman?
The way people perceive MMA can be very subjective, especially, in Singapore, where culture plays a big part.
I don't think MMA is only for guys, because female fighters are popping up everywhere and this trend doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
When I train, there is no segregation according to gender. I'm just there to learn and become better at the sport, just like everyone else. My teammates have always treated me as an equal, not as someone inferior to them, and I'm glad I've got a good team.
How has your life changed since you went into the sport full-time?
When training for a fight, I watch my diet carefully and try to keep it as clean as possible. I make sure I eat healthy non-processed foods.
Still, I think the biggest change is having to juggle work and training, and still set aside personal time. It has become a delicate balance (to maintain) and I try to do the best with the time I have.
What do you hope to achieve with this career?
Right now, my focus is on the upcoming fight. It feels a bit surreal, but it's also definitely exciting to be pushing boundaries (as the second Singaporean female fighter in One FC - the first being Nicole Chua).
Hopefully, in the long term, I'll be able to convince and inspire more women to start doing MMA and to compete.
Any tips for those who want to take up MMA?
It is undoubtedly a strenuous sport, so when you start, work at your own pace and don't risk injuries. When you feel more comfortable and confident, feel free to push your pace a little further.
For first-timers, keep an open mind when you step into your first class. There are many aspects to MMA, and you can't possibly understand everything in one lesson. And try to have fun!
Catch Lim and other fighters at the One Fighting Championship at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Oct 18 from 7pm. Tickets cost between $38 and $348 (VIP), and are available at Sistic. Visit www.sistic.com.sg